People are part of ocean and coastal ecologies: our health is intertwined.

Moving Oceans is a research project about the role of sport, physical activities and leisure in how we come to care for oceans and coasts. It explores the everyday individual and community relationships we develop through surfing, swimming and other ocean lifestyle sports. These sports and activities keep our bodies and minds healthy and they play a key part in the health of oceans and coasts too. This project aims to show how and why ocean lifestyle sports help us experience such close connections with the saltwater plants, animals, geographies and climates. 

Recent years have seen a growing sense of the importance of healthy oceans. More people than ever are collecting plastics on beaches, protesting polluting industries, protecting mangrove, kelp and seagrass beds and changing how we purchase and consume goods. People who use oceans and coasts for sport, physical activity and leisure have been leaders in these changes. Their own relationships to the saltwater and sand, changing weather conditions, and the plants and animals that live there shape how we think about ourselves as part of ocean and coastal ecologies. 

This project is interested in how participation in ocean lifestyle sports shapes our relationships, attitudes and behaviours towards taking care of oceans and coasts, and how we impact community and policy knowledge  about ocean and coastal ecologies. 

Ecological sensibilities

The development of individual relationships and connections to ecologies that inspire emotive responses and ethical relationships. This occurs through place-based encounters and knowledges. 

Ocean lifestyle sports

Informal, recreational leisure and physical activities that centre on experiences of risk, individuality, consumption and nature. This project has a focus on surfing and ocean swimming.  

Acknowledgement of Country

This project is being carried out on custodial lands of Indigenous Australians. We pay our respects to their Ancestors and their descendants, who continue cultural and spiritual connections to Country, and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

This project is based at The University of Queensland, but the ideas also grew from researchers’ relationships to coastlines in the region. For these reasons, we pay particular respect to the Jagera and the Turrbul people, the Yugambeh people and the Arakwal people of Bundjalung nation.

As this project progresses, this website will evolve. Blog and publications to be launched soon.